Joburg takes a step forward in addressing unequal spatial development

A City of Johannesburg media statement by the MMC for Development Planning, Cllr Reuben Masango
22 February 2019

The City of Johannesburg has yet again taken a step forward in its effort and commitment towards addressing unequal spatial development and transformation following the approval of the Inclusionary Housing Policy by Council yesterday, 21 February 2019.

Members of Council unanimously adopted this framework that seeks to promote accommodation opportunities for low-income and lower middle-income households, and households who otherwise may not have afforded to live in well located areas.

The Inclusionary Housing: Incentives, Regulations and Mechanisms framework will enable a move towards a more inclusive, efficient and effective City, as it provides requirements and conditions for inclusionary housing, and details the different options available to developers and associated incentives in order to implement this housing programme.

In essence, inclusionary housing is not only mandatory, but also incentivises private developers to dedicate a minimum of 30% of their total units to inclusionary housing when building 20 or more dwelling units.

However, a voluntary option is available to developments with less than 20 dwelling units. To achieve this, a calculator has been developed to provide a basis for inclusionary housing proposals and negotiations between the City and the private sector. The calculator is available for download at

The adoption of the City of Johannesburg Spatial Development Framework 2040 (SDF 2040) in 2016 brought about the need for a framework that would facilitate and guide the provision of inclusionary housing by the private sector in private housing developments.

Upon the approval of the draft document over a year ago, the framework underwent extensive public participation and stakeholder engagement, which resulted in a version agreed to by developers and the industry at large.

According to the report submitted to Council, the need for a framework of this kind is based on a number of identified objectives, namely that it will: address the stark inequalities in Johannesburg’s existing spatial planning; serve as a mechanism for land value capture in favour of the City and its residents; and aim to enable the City to leverage on infrastructure investments made to ensure that such investments benefit large and diverse portions of the population, effecting spatial transformation.

A majority of Johannesburg’s poor residents still live in far-flung residential areas (formerly segregated ‘townships’), that are far from economic opportunities, social amenities, and the benefits of urban living.

The inclusionary housing framework, however, directs the provision of new housing to well-located areas such as those close to jobs, schooling and public transport that low-income and lower middle-income households might have otherwise be excluded from.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the technical team within Development Planning’s City Transformation and Spatial Planning Directorate on their hard work and persistence in compiling a quality framework that will benefit residents of Johannesburg for generations to come.

Yours in service with pride,
Cllr Reuben Masango
MMC for Development Planning
City of Johannesburg

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